Whether it is an essay, term paper or just notes for an upcoming exam, there are two factors that are very important for any written assignment, and they are content and writing style. You might think that these are essentially the same thing, but they are not – content is the information presented to you (such as the wheres, the whys, the hows…), and in contrast the writing style is how this content is presented to you.
The content is what matters the most and the writing won’t be quite as important, but no matter what subject you take you should never get complacent with your writing skills. They are a part of communication and vitally important for almost every aspect of life beyond college, not to mention life during college. It is not always easy to ensure an excellent writing style, but there are some easy ways to improve your essay writing.
1. Keeping Things Clear
There are many writers which make a living out of creating deep, complex and insightful writing, but this is not what you should be aiming for with academic writing. Clarity is always the best method, and there are a number of ways to prevent confusion and improve clarity. Always explain things in as little words as possible, and never pad out the writing with anything that isn’t going to be useful to the reader. Be logical with the progression of information, always keep different topics confined to different sections, and use short sentences and simple sentence structure. Know that with more information to present, there will be more variables and it will become more and more difficult to keep things simple, but you will be fine as long as break the information down into manageable pieces.
2. Writing Consistency
There will be days where you create really good writing, and then there will be other days when you can barely string a sentence together. This is an unavoidable part of writing, but this does not really matter; what matters is that you keep a good level of consistency for any single piece of writing.
There should be consistency with the structure, the pacing and the tone of the essay. This helps the reader to digest the information, stops the reader from becoming confused and keeps them interested. Most academic papers demand high levels of consistency, but some writers like to change the tone as the writing progresses, from a very neutral tone at the start to a more emotive and actionable tone at the end.
3. The 2-Step Process
A simple way to improve the quality of your writing is with a 2-step analysis process. In the first step, you should write what you want to say quickly and without too much consideration. This helps your writing to flow naturally, which makes it nice and easy to read. Once you have finished the assignment, leave it for a day or so and then read over it slowly and carefully. If there is anything that you are less than impressed with, change it to something better using the advice provided above.